Moving abroad with a family?

The world is becoming smaller due to technology, and the way we work is changing. It’s becoming to the increasingly common for people to be relocated abroad for work. This may be at the request of your employer, or you may have decided you want to emigrate somewhere new. Whatever your motive is, if you’ve got a family, it can be a tough choice to make. Travelling with kids is hard! Life changing moves really do take a tonne of soul searching, and a lot of work, too!


If you decide a move is best for your family, then you’ve got a lot of practical things to be getting on with. There’s a lot of things that you have to take into consideration. If you own your home, are you going to sell it or rent it out? It’s a good idea to rent it out to begin with, just in case your move doesn’t go to plan. In this instance, you have some backup! Do remember though, you’d still have to give your tenants adequate notice, which is usually a month at the very least.

You’re going to have to decide whether to sell your stuff, put it in storage or take it with you. If you’ve got pets, you’re going to have to work out how you’re going to get the over there too. They may need vaccinations or a passport. Your pet may even have to spend some time in quarantine. A pet shipping company like PBS will be able to advise you on your particular animals and destination.

When I was at university my family moved to France. It made it easier that at that point we didn’t have any family pets but the packing up process I remember being a nightmare and watching the removal van wobble off the drive to the end of the road I had grown up on was a very strange feeling indeed.

Is there an ideal age to move abroad with children? Well, to be honest, that is all down to your family and your own unique set up. Only you know at heart what is truly best for your family, even if might waylay your plans a little. You’ve got, to be honest with yourself, though. Moving is all about the children, we’re adults, and can make our own decisions. What we have to do is make sure that is genuinely the best thing for our children. My brother was eleven when my family moved and I think he would tell you it was a very difficult time for him.

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On the whole, younger children tend to be more adaptable, flexible and open to new experiences. Even the change of routine might not have them too much if you’re swift in establishing a new one. If you’re going to live in a country that speaks a different mother tongue? Then you may well find that the younger your children are, the easier they will pick it up. Living amongst people communicating in a language and being immersed in the culture is one of the quickest ways to become bilingual. My brother speaks incredible French (better than his English probably) now of course, but at eleven it was hard for him initially.

Once your children get a bit older, they may be more wary of change, and you may find they show a considerable amount of resistance. That’s totally understandable after all, moving is scary for us too. They might not want to leave their friends behind, or want to start again at a new school or college. On the plus side, they will be able to understand more about their new home. Your older children will gain significant knowledge and experience from your move away from home.

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